Councillor laments at funding disparity

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A HUNMANBY councillor has lambasted new plans for a multi-million pound youth centre in Scarborough which he fears will “gobble up” vital money from taxpayers in the village.

Cllr Nick Harvey said the decision to spend £6.5 million on the youth facility could do irreparable damage to residents during the austere climate.

Cllr Harvey, a Green Party representative for the Hertford ward, also raised fears over the impending county council decision on Hunmanby Library.

The authority are set to make a final announcement on the future provision on libraries next week.

Work on the new youth centre is expected to start in two weeks.

He said: “The Hertford ward has the least borough and county council funded community buildings in North Yorkshire.

“The community funds and runs nine already and we have no youth service, lack community transport, and have inadequate consulting space for health staff in an area with some of the highest levels of chronic illness in the country.

“This ward is rural, wages are low, and often seasonal.

“There are a growing number of young families, struggling in these tough times, living in private rented property as there is a lack of both affordable homes and council properties.

“However, £6.5 million has been found for an expensive new youth centre in Scarborough and maintaining it each year will gobble up more.

“Meanwhile, Hertford Ward residents pay £2 million each year to North Yorkshire County Council, and Hunmanby’s library - the fifth cheapest in the county to run at £47,817 - will close.

“The community is being left with the option of a library in a room in the Community Centre, funded and run by volunteers.”

Cllr Harvey said the Stonegate-based library catered for every demographic in the village, which should be factored into any final decision by council bosses.

He added: “It is the young, the old and the disabled who use Hunmanby Library.

“It is well used and as the buses have been cut at 6.30pm, are they really going to use the new youth centre 10 miles away?”